Elder Haft wins ruling over son in Dart dispute A divided family and 172,730 shares


WILMINGTON, Del. -- Dart Group Corp. founder Herbert Haft won a court ruling that could complicate the company's attempt to settle the lawsuits now swarming around it.

The Delaware Chancery Court, in an opinion made public yesterday, rejected an attempt by Mr. Haft's son Ronald to gain voting rights to a controlling block of Dart Group shares that his father transferred to him in 1993.

The court rejected Ronald Haft's motion for summary judgment in a 28-page opinion that said the voting rights to the 172,730 Class B shares aren't revocable under arguments pressed by Ronald Haft.

Landover-based Dart Group last month announced a settlement a long-running legal feud between Herbert and Ronald Haft, and a lawsuit brought by shareholders. Herbert Haft opposes the settlement, which he has cast as a scheme by the Dart Group board and Ronald Haft to deprive him of his stake in the company.

In the sweeping settlement approved by the Dart Group board last month, Ronald Haft sold the 172,730 shares at issue in yesterday's ruling to Dart Group.

While a ruling in Ronald Haft's favor would have bolstered the chances of the settlement being approved by the court, yesterday's ruling doesn't necessarily disrupt the agreement.

Dart Group has claimed in court papers that Herbert Haft's voting rights were extinguished when the block of shares was transferred to Dart Group in the settlement.

Shares in the company treasury have no voting rights under Delaware law, the company said. That argument wasn't addressed in yesterday's ruling.

Dart Group owns majority stakes in Trak Auto Corp., an auto parts retailer, and Crown Books Corp., a chain of 190 discount bookstores, along with real estate assets and a supermarket business.

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